Sunday, February 28, 2016

Selfish Sewing Week #4

Alas, the end of February means the end of the 4x7 Sewing Challenge from berrybarndesigns.  For the second year in a row, participating has accomplished two things:

a) it has really made me enjoy my sewing space and tackling some things I'd been putting off but always wanted to try

b) it has demonstrated yet again that I indeed have a severe case of ADD which is made far worse when I start to think about sewing.  Even as I am sitting at my machine, I've already got another thing cranking through my brain!

For example,  just this morning, as I was about to figure out which of about 5 things I wanted to do first, I found a GREAT tutorial for a scrap catcher for under my serger and had to seriously hold myself back from abandoning everything and working on that!

Being part of the challenge also keeps me accountable and makes me finish a task.  Sometimes, when I get aggravated, I abandon a project or make it half assed and never enjoy the finished look.  Knowing I have to post pictures makes me at least hide my half assed behavior a little more than usual!

So, I found a great fabric for the back of my Big City Quilt that I showed you here, but after a million washes and soaks, I almost threw it away.  That red would NOT stop running.  I did the salt water soak, the wash and dry it maneuver, the soak it a few more times chore and finally, the vinegar soak.  It finally seems to have stopped running, so I'm going to take a risk and use it.

I don't know why that red doesn't run into the white which kind of makes me feel like it might never have been an issue, but....

I didn't finish that quilt this week, but that wasn't really my goal anyway.  I wanted to have everything I need so that when the mood strikes, I will have batting and a backing.  It takes a lot of oomph to tackle quilting a quilt that size on my machine, and I keep thinking I am going to rearrange things so I have a bigger table in my sewing room which would make it all much easier.  But that will require moving a lot of things around and finding new places for a lot of things and I'm so not into that right now....

The next thing I thought I was going to work on this week was a block or two from this Farm Girl Vintage book.  I made the Wooly sheep and Penny pig blanket from this book (the pig was separate but from the same designer) and I like some of the other blocks.  The fruits and baking items aren't really my thing, but there are a few quilt blocks that I really like.

I got some fabrics ready but didn't actually make a plan because...

I needed new lingerie bags for the washer.  I buy these once in a while and I use them quite a bit.  They are great for bras so they don't hook everything in the wash, but also those little ped socks I wear with flats.  They tend to get caught up in everything and in my old washing machine, they were always getting under the rubber on the door frame.

These bags take a real beating and it seems like they've all died at once.

I kept thinking I could take out the zippers and make new bags but every time I went to Joann Fabrics, I couldn't find the right mesh.  I was beginning to think I might have to try using tulle, but I knew that would not work and would be a total mess.

The last time I was there, I asked the girl if she knew where I could find it and she said they have something like what you'd use in a butterfly net.  EXACTLY what I was looking for!  And in case you're wondering, it's near the canvas type materials.  In my Joann, anyway.

There wasn't a lot of precision involved in making these and I actually ended up making 3.  I loved that I could recycle the old zippers.  I just serged the seams with whatever was in my serger, which wasn't white, but who cares?

Next, I can't believe I did this, but I bought fabric for 3 more pairs of leggings!  I really like the Sloan Leggings by Hey June (in fact, I think I've made or altered  a pair every week of this challenge!) and I am determined to figure out which size is right for me!

I've now gone down two sizes and there's nowhere else to go!

I love this wide waistband, but even at the smallest size, it's a little loose at my waist.  BUT, this could be a matter of the fabric being thin and slippery.  I'd had my eye on some of the Nicole Miller slinky knits at Joann and with a 50% off coupon before they went on sale, I bought myself the 1.5 yards as required in the pattern.

I didn't realize until I put these on just how slippery the fabric is.  It's not very thick though I could have sworn it was in the store.  As I moved around, the waist sort of shifted.  They will probably be great for my spin classes, but probably not for running.

I think with a more substantial knit, this size might actually be too tight.  It's hard to know if the reason they are shifting is because they are too big, or they are snug and pulling the waist down as I move.  It's such a pain trying to make sure they will go over my butt but then snap back in to be at my low waist.

After the next two, I am sure I cannot make anymore for a while!  I'm going to make at least one of them capri length and then I need to be done.  I can't live my entire life in leggings or I'll become one of those people who can't wear real clothes anymore because they are too constricting!

Hey, did you know that when you cut out your printed PDF patterns, if you cut the right and top sides of every page, it will make your life 100 times easier?  And if you actually have a paper cutter, you will make your life 200 times easier.  It's something I never thought of and it's actually a suggestion printed in the Sloan Leggings pattern.


Does this look familiar?

After I cut out my leggings, I looked at the leftover piece and thought I might have just enough for a tank top.  I used the Just A Tank pattern from Maria Denmark, which I've used for a few things.  In fact, my 4 dress sewing spree was made from this top which I extended down into a dress length.

I had exactly enough for the front and back piece and plenty for the bands.

None of these pictures actually shows what the fabric looks like!  There's a green in there and much more subtle color changes but you can't see any of that.

As leggings, I think this fabric is totally perfect and I would wear them to exercise. However, as a tank, I feel like it's way too fancy to wear to work out and I would only wear it as a nice top.  How ridiculous is that???

And speaking of ridiculous, in a million years, I would NEVER wear the top and leggings together in public.  I actually couldn't even do that in private. I couldn't live with myself.

So, in this month, I more than met the goals I set out to accomplish here!  I think, in course of this month, I've shown you just about every kind of sewing I might do, from horse blanket repairs to knits to quilting.  I'm really glad I got so much done and my  machines BOTH cooperated the entire time.  Last year, I had a major meltdown with my serger around the time of this challenge and it really made my life difficult because I was in the middle of a commissioned uniform job!

I think this was just the kick I needed to keep the pedal to the metal and continue working on the other things I've dreamed up while I've been sewing this month!

Linking here:\

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In Case Spring Returns

According to my last tomato picture on instagram, it's been 18 weeks since I picked tomatoes from my own garden.

That's really not that long ago.

And tomatoes are always the first to croak, so I know I picked other things after that, because we had pretty warm weather in November.

But I'm ready for spring to come again so I plant all of my seeds that just arrived!

I start all of my seeds myself, in the greenhouse.  I try to get organic or heirloom seeds as much as possible.  This means I have to order from catalogs because my local stores have limited options in the organic arena.

My flower seeds are not organic, and for that I feel bad.  BUT, I don't eat them (the squirrels won't let me get the sunflower seeds), and I can get them so much cheaper at a discount store here.  I worry that the seeds are not organic but everything I do is, so it must all balance out!

I grow zinnias because they are very easy for me to grow and they look great.  They also last right up to a hard frost, so in the fall, I can pick them and bring them in bouquets to school and they look great!

I'm trying a variety of sunflowers this year that Burpee has so nicely bundled into one seed packet.

The top flowers are Forget me Nots that my sister got in Alaska for me.  I don't think I know what they look like, so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.

These are all varieties that I grew last year and which did really well for me.  The Shiraz tall top beets have been the best I've grown out of all the types I've tried.  The tops are nice and tall and the beets themselves are a good size and nice and dark, which I like.

I picked all of the peppers before they turned red because I prefer them green, but couldn't find a green pepper I wanted.  out of 10 seeds, 6 of them grew into really good plants.

THat rainbow radish pack was so much fun last year.  I went out one day and just about all of them were ready and it was like colored marbles in the containers!

Tomatoes are an issue because I specialize in some horrid disease that ruins every plant I try.  The two types of tomatoes here seem to resist it, so I'm trying it again!

And the Waltham butternut squash grew really well for me 2 years ago, but last year none of my squash did much.  I hope that was a one year anomaly!

These are all new varieties for me.  I've grown all of these vegetables, just not these specific types, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they will do.  There's a new type of tomato in there too.   Fingers crossed they will be fine.

These are mustard greens, a new type of squash for me and Chinese cabbage.  Sometimes I get excited to try new plants!

I also have seeds from last year that I will use because usually, they do fine for a couple of years.  

If you click this link to  Seeds Now, (affiliate link) you can use this promo code to save $3 on your order.  Or, click below and save 10% off your whole order.  Do the math and see what's better!

March 1st is just around the corner and I'm going to try my fate and plant some peas in the greenhouse.  I'll start them on heat  mats until the 20 degree nights go away.   I learned this fall that they are NOT frost tolerant, so I need to watch out for the first month because March is a tricky month.

But I'm just so ready to grow things again!!

Linking here: 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Selfish Sewing Week #3

Is it really true that we've already completed 3 weeks of the 4x7 Sewing Challenge from berrybarndesigns?  Where is this most dismal month going??

I am not a fan of February with its cold days that are still mostly bleak and end too early.  Doing the 4x7 challenge really gives some pep to the month for me.  And since I have school vacation in the middle of February, I get to put in a lot of sewing hours, inspired by the challenge.

This year's challenge has me focused on many of the sewing projects I've had buzzing in my head for a long time.  I'm not sure what the difference is this year, but I will say that I've finally figured out which hours get the best sunlight and therefore warmth in my sewing room this time of year, so I've been waiting to go and sew until that time. 

It's far more pleasant than trying to sew while debating whether to turn up the heat.

This week, I made another pair of Sloan Leggings by Hey June and I really like them.  I wore them for an entire day and then taught a spinning class in them, not sure if they'd actually stay in place.  Other than realizing I looked like a smurf, I was really happy with them.  They did shift a little, but they are definitely fine and I'm inspired to make more when I find the right fabric.

I'm also going to go down one more size, which should definitely keep them in place.

I poked around on instagram and saw lots of variations in length, including shorts.  Sloan Leggings and I are not ready to part ways yet!

Last week, I made the Union St. Tee, also by Hey June and I wore it one day this week, but quickly realized I was annoyed by the too short sleeves.  They seemed plenty long enough, but as I moved throughout the day, they kept creeping up past my wrist which I can't stand!   I lengthened them and then washed it and was pleased to see that there is no sign of pilling yet!

I thought I might make a short sleeve version of this top but I didn't have the fabric I thought I had, so I've put that on hold for now.  I have one knit that I got as a remnant that I thought I liked, but it's got a sueded feel on one side which kind of reminds me of the texture of microfiber and I cannot bear that texture.  My dry winter hands catch on it, so microfiber cloths are banned from my house.

I need to spend more time touching this fabric to decide what I think.

I made this red Big City quilt top over the summer, after I made this one.  I've always been obsessed with red and white quilts and I really like the Big City pattern.  Continuing my year of using my stash, I used all pieces I had for the reds in this quilt.

After I finished the top, I wasn't thrilled with it anymore.  I can't really explain why I don't like it, but I'm over it.  If I were to do it again for myself, I would only use one red fabric throughout.  I used a bunch of different reds, some with prints and some without and it's just not my thing.  It's a great pattern that goes together so easily, so it's something I will make again, but maybe not in reds.

This week, I came to terms with deciding to back it and quilt it and put it in my etsy store.  I recently sold the Queen of Hearts quilt, so I'm inspired to get this one done and see if I get the same results.

This backing fabric and I had a big disagreement this week.  I really love it, but as with many reds, it would not stop running.  I had a bright red koolaid effect after the first two soaks, so I tried soaking it in salt water, with a lot of salt.  It was better but not much.

I even put it in the wash on hot, hoping it would run itself to death and then I dried it in the drier, hoping that would set it.


My last resort, after another salt water soak was a vinegar soak and that seemed to do the trick.

Although there will be a BIG warning not to ever wash this quilt in hot water!!

This was a week of finishing things, fixing things and planning out things.  I made several trips to Joann fabrics and actually made one to a thrift store and scored a huge 2.5 yard piece of cotton that didn't smell and a bag of threads for 50 cents.  I was totally shocked to find either and to get out of there for less than $5 was really exciting.  SOme of the thread is crapola but there's some newer Dual Duty that will serve me just fine.

I've had this pair of fleece pants forever, like since Lerner was a store in our mall.  I think it's gone from everywhere but definitely from our mall.

The waist is flat, wide elastic and over time, has stretched out.  The pants are still fine, so finally this week, I decided I couldn't keep pulling them up anymore and I inserted an elastic band.  How weird is it that I found  one cut to exactly the size I wanted?  I have no idea how that happened but I think it was left over from something else I did a while back.  The channel for the elastic was already there, just never tacked down, so I zigzagged it down and put the elastic through.  I LOVE the way they fit now and there's no worry about them sliding down.

But they are fleece and it's dry here, so I'm a walking static bomb and everything sticks to it.  These pants are only for keeping warm after exercising, not for wearing to school.

I suddenly have an obsession with these two colors together and I'm possibly planning some quilt squares in my head featuring these colors.  The green is a minty/light teal color that is very specific but hard to describe.  The pieces I have here are left over from the Cars quilt I made a few years ago, and I have two fat quarters that I got on clearance ages ago and had totally forgotten about.  The pinks are still from my stash.

I don't think I have enough to make a whole quilt, so I have to think about what I want to do.  But I need to put these colors together and see what happens!  I spent a lot of time collecting all of the pinks I have and deciding which can stay and which  need to go.

I also had to take apart some left over pieces that I threw into the scrap drawer intact.  That took some time, but I really wanted some of the pinks in there, and now they are all separate.

It's been a great week for trying out some things and getting started on some projects that have been on the back burner.

Linking here:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Because One Pair of Sloan Leggings Isn't Enough

As I mentioned here, I made a pair of Sloan Leggings by Hey June as part of my 4x7 Sewing Challenge goal.  I've been suspicious of making leggings because, even with my serger, I was convinced that I'd get them just right and then wear them and they'd pop all over the place and I'd end up with holes in every seam.

Or, that the fabric wouldn't really stretch in the right places so I'd get holes in the fabric, or they'd be too snug and you'd see right through them.

I'm not Lululemon here, I like knits that you can't see through.

Or that they'd cut into my knees or waist.

I also worried they'd bag at the knees and I'd be fighting with them all the time.

Can you tell I've had unpleasant leggings experiences over the years?  I've worn leggings and capris that have done just about all of that.

The first pair I made were a black fabric that I had forgotten about.  I picked it up in the remnant rack at Joann Fabrics, back when I always underestimated just how much fabric I would really need to make anything.

I have no idea what it is, but it's got 4-way stretch and then some and it feels so soft.  Not slippery polyester soft, but that soft cottony feeling that you get with some knits.

And remnants are never over a yard, so I have no idea how I had enough to make these.

I made the medium because that's what my measurements called for and remember, I was super worried about exploding the seams.  It's my butt and hips that worry me.  Recently, I bought some yoga pants that had nice wide waists like this and still, every time I put them on, there are popping noises happening somewhere.  I see no holes, so it's a mystery.  Getting the waistband over them without incident was of real concern. 

Especially when I used the interfacing.  I hate reading things in great detail online and as usual, I completely skipped the part that explained to use an interfacing with stretch.  I used any old interfacing that I had for the waistband, which seemed completely counter to the point of using a knit fabric.  Even as I sewed it in (right, I didn't even have a fusible, incorrect interfacing, I had to sew it in!) and sewed the waistbands, I kept thinking it was so strange that the part of the pants that need the most stretch have now been stabilized beyond belief.

And then I reread it and found some stretchy interfacing and things got a lot better.

On my first try, even with the stupid non-stretch interfacing, I knew the waistband was too big to sit comfortably on my waist.  So, printed out just the waistband in small removed the medium band with the bad interfacing and used the proper kind and attached the small waistband to the medium pants.

I didn't take a picture because I'm not thrilled with how high they are.  They sit way up on my ribs.  They are totally wearable and extremely comfortable, so they will be worn, but they are not the best example of these leggings.

I toyed with the idea of trying to shorten the rise in the front and back for the next pair, but then I thought maybe the small would be a better choice.  I put the medium and small patterns together and saw that the rise was just a little smaller in the small, so maybe that would make the difference.  I love PDF patterns that you can just print and reprint!

Warning, several shots of these leggings doing exactly what leggings are meant to do follow:

They are super stretchy and the small is definitely not too small in any place, including the waistband.  I used the stretchy interfacing again, but as with the black pair, something is strange about its connection to the knit and there's a mysterious puckering, which you can't really see here.  It's not a problem with the pattern, it's either the knit, the interfacing or the seamstress.

No binding or cutting into me and they are not at all see through.

I like all of my waistbands to sit below my belly button.  The shorter the rise, the better for me, as long as the butt rise is high enough.  I almost feel like this waistband could go one size smaller, even.  There's no trouble getting it over my butt and hips.  I'll leave this one in because they are definitely something I will wear a lot.

If I make them again, I might think about a smaller waistband.

I hemmed them with my newfound zigzag stitch that lets me get my feet in without popping the seams.  They are not quite as snug at the ankle as commercial leggings even though I took them in about a half inch from the knee down.  I'm not sure if this indicates a need to make them petite next time or shorten them somewhere in the knee area.

My question about whether to make more is about finding the fabric that I want.  At first, I thought I'd make them in all of the crazy stretchy patterns I see, but those fabrics mostly feel slippery and sweaty to me, which is not what I want.  This material is similar to the black with its soft cottony feel and tons and tons of stretch.

I thought I wanted to make fun leggings but really, I just want them in solid colors that won't pill.  There wasn't another color of this particular fabric in the store, go figure.

These leggings are ridiculously fast to make and have 4 seams:  front rise, back rise, inseam and waistband attachment to the pants.

If this material holds up over wearing and washing a lot, I'll definitely make them again!

Linking here: 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Union Street Tee For Me

Continuing in the 4x7 Sewing Challenge this month, I made a top for myself out of this knit fabric.  There must be a rainbow theme perpetually in my head lately, because I see rainbow colors here too!

I bought this fabric originally to make the Sloan Leggings from Hey June, but decided it was too thick and probably didn't have enough 4-way stretch.  It's 2 ply knit, I would call it.  Two thin pieces of knit material put together to create a pattern on each side.  On one side is the rainbow stripes you see here, and on the other, are tiny little heart, which I will show you at the bottom of this post.  I am neither a heart not rainbow wearer, so this made choosing a side difficult!

You might wonder why I chose the fabric if I don't really love to wear rainbows or hearts.  It was all the feel of the fabric.  I liked the way it felt both weight-wise and texture-wise.

My first ridiculous error of the day happened when I printed the pattern.  Hey June patterns are really neat because you can get just your size printed, if you choose in the layers in Adobe reader.  That way you aren't cutting away all of the other sizes and wasting time and paper.

However, even when you've selected to view the layers for your size,  you have to still put in the pages you want to print.  Instead, I just hit print and got ALL 45 PAGES!!  I couldn't believe I did that AND, it wasn't until after I printed that I decided I wanted to go up a size because I wanted this to be looser, like a sweatshirt.

You can be sure that I chose the size I wanted and then only typed in the specific page numbers to print the second time around!

This is the first top I've made that was actually meant to be a top with sleeves.  The other tops I've made have been a hybrid of kitschycoo's Comino top and Lady Skater dress, or the Maria tank that didn't have sleeves.

I was thrilled to see that there were just a couple of pieces to cut out and I wasn't going to have to make adjustments.

It went together really easily, but I had a problem with the neckband and had to put it in twice.  Not an easy feat thanks to my serger stitches, but it looks better the second time.  I still had an issue and need to work on it.  After I've worn the top a few times and washed it, I'll see what the neckband looks like.

It turns out, the fabric isn't really as heavy as I thought, so it's not really sweatshirt worthy.  It's a good weight and I have already worn it.  I think if I made the short sleeve version, I'd go down a size, but for a long sleeve, I think I'll keep the medium.

This is the first top I've made in a long time that I didn't shorten at all in the middle.  I like the 2 inch hem on this one.  If I made it as a t-shirt, I might cut it slightly to keep the hem at less than an inch, but for this top, I think the 2 inches works.

I also like that it doesn't have bands for the arms.  I hemmed mine a little shorter than I like, so I will be taking them down about a half inch more.  I used a zigzag stitch for those hems but it was tighter than I like, so it's all the more reason to undo them.

The zigzag on the hem of the whole top is my most favorite stitch in a long time.  I finally got the stitch width and length just right so it's stretchy!  Usually, one is too tight and the hem always feels like it will pop. 

I've just about given up on the twin needle for hems.  The zigzag is great for this and I think I'll just play it by ear with future hems.

Here's the print from the other side.  While the rainbow stripes are a little strange, so are these little hearts, for me.  I used the hearts side for the neckband, but the rest is all rainbow stripes.

I'm not sure if this is a top I will wear to school because I'm not in love with the stripes.  Finding a good  knit in a color or pattern I like is really difficult for me.  We have one local fabric shop, just Joann fabrics, and I find their knits to be all over the place.  Several have pilled almost immediately, which is a big no no for me.  A few have held up beautifully.  And a few have just been strange prints.  I don't know exactly what I am looking for, which might be part of my problem.  I like solid colors but the solids there are the least desirable texture.  And I'm not a fan of mixing two colors or patterns together in a knit top the way everyone is doing around the internet.

I'm afraid to order knits online because I have no idea what they feel like or how heavy they really are. 

I like sewing with knits and I've liked most of the finished products I've made, but I'm not sure it's been a very thrifty way to supplement my wardrobe.  For me, sewing is usually about making something for less than I'd pay in a store and in a color or texture that I want that wasn't available in the store.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Putting On My Big Girl Panties

And that's the only time you'll see that word on my blog!  It makes me feel ill every time I hear or say that word!  It's underwear only around here!

I mean, we only say that word.  I don't mean we only wear underwear.

That would be ridiculous in the below zero weather we've had this week.

Anypanties, did I get your attention?

A while back, I hopped on the knit fabric wagon and got hooked, thanks to the amazing patterns by Amanda at kitschycoo.  Her step by step directions with pictures are fantastic, but she's also some kind of wizard when it comes to sizing.  Everything I've made of hers has fit me exactly as I want it to, even the Barrie Briefs.  Underwear can be such a tricky thing with me.

The first pair of Barrie Briefs that I made were kind of a thick knit that made them feel more like bloomers for under a cheerleading or field hockey skirt.  I like them but I never wear them under anything I'd actually wear in public because they are too bulky.

I kept thinking about trying to make them with other knits, but I hadn't gotten around to it until this week, during the 4x7 Sewing Challenge from berrybarndesigns.  Give me a challenge and suddenly projects are flying out of my sewing machine.

I had these two shirts ready for the trash because both had met their demise. The blue one, which was one of my favorite colors ever, was weird from the beginning.  It had an elastic at the bottom because that trend was popular for about a minute, and the whole surt was pretty stretchy.  I liked the way it hung but I was never crazy about the elasticized bottom.

It didn't occur to me until this very second that I could have just pulled out that elastic and made a hem, but I bet it would have been too short.

I wore it for a family picture we took a couple of summers ago and a I wore it a few other times.  I looking at the color but then forgot to wear it often.  And then there were a couple of weird holes in it that I attributed to a) getting it from Old Navy and thus knowing it's poor quality and b) my other washing machine that loved to eat clothes.   I finally gave up and decided it couldn't be worn anymore with one of those holes being near the shoulder.

Sad because I liked it so much.

This shirt was also one of my favorites because the color is a pink I really love.  I got it at Ann Taylor Loft on a whim and liked it so much I got another one in a darker pink.

The top of it was kind of shirred with a thin elastic and one day, I noticed the elastic had given out so the shirring was loosening.  The whole top was starting to look askew and though I know my sister would probably have just fixed it, I decided I didn't love this shirt enough to take the time to figure out how to gather it and make it look like the rest of the neckline.   Plus, I didn't have any elastic cording to make it happen even if I did take the time to figure out how to do it.

Before I threw them out, I felt the textures and wondered if I could use them for something else.  They are both smalls, so I knew I couldn't get much out of them, but maybe they would be right for the Barrie Briefs.

I thought I could get a pair out of each.

I started to take out the stitching on the blue shirt and once I got the elastics out, I gave up and just cut them apart.  They didn't have big hems, so all that pulling out wasn't going to gain me much fabric.

I was thrilled to see some nice elastic in the bottom and cuffs of the blue shirt, so I pulled them out and will definitely reuse them.  I want to make a cover for the stool in my sewing room, so my brain is already trying to use that thicker elastic for that.

After some serious ironing, I laid out my pieces to see what I could get.  From one side of the pink
shirt, I could get one whole pair of underwear, but not the bands.  Since they were experimental anyway, and I don't really run around showing people my underwear (at least, not on purpose), I thought it would be fine and kind of fun to use the blue for the bands.  The blue shirt wasn't going to give me enough  material to make even one pair, so I decided to use it for the bands.  Plus, it had more stretch to it, which I wanted in the bands.

The white for the gusset was some leftover white that I had completely forgotten about.  I think I bought it for the bands for my first tank, when I took things much more seriously in the knits world.  I no longer buy separate material for the bands, which I know is not the right way to do things, but I can live with the necklines stretching out a little as they are worn.

Putting these Barrie Briefs together is a mind boggler for me, kind of like making sure when I make pajama pants, I get the U going the right way.  Luckily, there was no difference between the right and wrong side of this fabric, so it didn't matter if I had it flipped wrong.

Except for this.  If you look veeeeerrrrry closely, you can see the remaining size on the pink shirt, a size small.  This was meant to be on the inside, but clearly, I flipped it the wrong way.

Story of my life.

If I didn't have a serger, I wouldn't bother with knits, I don't think.  I know they say you can use a zigzag stitch, but I just don't think I could get the same stretch that the serger gives me.

I've made quite a few tops and dresses with knits, so I pretty much understand how the bands go in.  Still, I usually pre stretch and pin them because I don't want to put them in wrong and have to pick out serger stitching.

If you've never had the joy of having to tear out all of the stitches you made with a serger, you have no idea what seam ripping is truly about.  It's enough to make me think if I cut very closely to the edge, I could just start again.

With these, I tried putting in the bands without much except for the crucial anchor pins and it worked really well.  I  wasn't too worried because they were just recycled fabric underwear, not meant for the light of day.  But, it gave me enough confidence that I might try it with a top in the future.

I ended up with 2 pair.  These are boy cut briefs, meant to sit more on the hip bones than up at the natural waist.  The legs are also different from a typical brief.  It surprised me to see how much fabric they actually need.  When I first cut out the pink, I was sure they were going to be way too big, but they fit like they were made for me. 

These are much thinner fabric than my first pair, but I haven't tried them under actual clothes yet.  I think the serger seams are thick enough that you will see the lines and I won't like that.  But I'll be happy to wear them to bed or when I know I'm not going anywhere.

I can't show a picture of them on me because, well, you just don't need to see that.  But, if I make them into a pair of bathing suit bottoms like my sister plans to do, then you will see them whether you want to or not!

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Selfish Sewing Week #2

What a week it has been in the 4x7 Sewing Challenge!

I had a really productive weekend last weekend and then Monday was a snow day and Tuesday, we had a 2 hour delay.  All very good for finding time to sew!

First and foremost, I found the most important scissors I've ever owned!  These things are so sharp and amazing, when I thought they were gone, I lost my mind.  I brought them with me when I trimmed threads on the rainbow quilt and then I thought the cats had played with them and stashed them somewhere.  They are way too sharp for them to play with, but I couldn't find a better answer.

After a week of looking and feeling totally lost, they were in the arm of the chair!

I completed several projects this week, so I will show you each one, but then I will write separate posts about the highs and lows of each one.  You'll have to check in and see throughout the week!

 First, I finished quilting and binding on the rainbow quilt.

This was definitely one of my most favorite quilts to make and to look at.

I haven't given it to its intended recipient yet and each time I look at it, I like it even more.

But, with no place to put a rainbow quilt in my house, I'd rather give it to a baby now and make another one for myself later.

I used rainbow colored thread which is cool because when the color goes over the same color on the quilt, it blends perfectly, but then the colors also stand out on other parts.

I especially like how it looks on the white square in the middle.

The snow made for great picture taking!

I finished binding the quilt and folded it and left for the day.  When I came back, Luke was completely out, curled up right in the middle.  I know some people freak out over animals on new quilts that you're giving away, but the people I' m giving it to have an animal and I couldn't find much of his hair on it anyway.

Once I was able to stop admiring my rainbow, I repaired a strap on a canvas grocery  bag.  I had really filled the bag and had it on my shoulder when the strap broke and slapped me across the face.  I thought someone had thrown something at me at first!

Then, I got to work on the Sloan Leggings from Hey June.  I bought material that I thought would be fun and stretchy enough, but after talking to my sister about it, I decided it probably wasn't right for my first attempt at leggings.

I went through my stash and found a remnant of a black knit that I bought a while ago that magically was big enough.  I think it's a little too thin, and perhaps a size smaller might fit better.  There's definitely 4 way stretch, but probably too much.

Click here for more and an entertaining story about interfacing.

I've had some shirts laying around that I needed to stop wearing because they had little holes in them.  When I realized they were a nice, thin knit that hadn't pilled when I wore them as shirts, I thought I'd keep them and try making the Barrie Briefs by kitschycoo again.

Lo and behold, two new pairs of underwear (never call them panties!) for me!  More about them in this post, including how heartbreaking it was to give up the blue shirt I used for the bands.  OK, it wasn't exactly heartbreaking but I had to give up a piece of clothing that I really like!

That knit that I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, the one I bought for leggings and decided not to use?  I put it to use here in the Union St. tee from Hey June.  I was thinking more along the line of sweatshirt than close fitting t-shirt and I like how it came out. Click here for  a better close up of the colors and the nitty gritty.

So, this week seemed to be all about the knits, once I got the rainbow taken care of!  And with 3 new wardrobe pieces for me, it was selfish sewing, indeed!

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